The State of North Dakota and Continental Resources (an oil company) appealed a 2021 ruling that struck down a 2019 law governing pore space. Northeast District Judge Anthony Swain Benson ruled that this law violated state and U.S. constitutions, and that it allowed oil and gas companies to enact a “taking” of private property from landowners “for free, under the guise of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.” Through their appeal, the State and Continental Resources are seeking to have the law reinstated. The North Dakota Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday related to the dispute.
Derrick argued, “The industry realized they were going to have to pay for pore space use in a lot situations where they didn’t anticipate that. And they didn’t like that. It was the purpose, the intent and the plan to make sure the industry didn’t have to pay for its use of pore space anymore.”
“There is a boom of CO2 sequestration going on in this state right now,” Braaten told the court. “There’s a lot happening with pore space, and there’s more to come. And that is what the concern is here — it is that this is a wholesale transfer of a landowner’s property to the industry.”
Read the Fargo Forum’s article here.